Surge in Dolphin Deaths Raises Concern

Bottlenose dolphins courtesy of NOAA

These days, it isn’t only oil showing up on Gulf beaches. Last week brought a surge of stories on the high numbers of dead baby dolphins washing ashore in Gulf states.

As of Wednesday, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) reported that as many as 30 dolphins have been found dead since January in Mississippi and Alabama, and 24 of them calves. The Sun Herald reported five dead calves found in Alabama in just one day.

Scientists are concerned about these abnormally high numbers. The number of dolphin strandings so far this year is already more than ten times greater than what it’s been the last two years. Also unusual is the timing of these deaths. Birthing season for dolphin typically begins later, in March. Clearly, something is wrong.

Although scientists have not ruled out causes such as extreme cold temperatures, many are looking to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill last spring as a potential culprit. IMMS experts, joined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), remain busy conducting autopsies. Hopefully, further testing will allow them to get to the bottom of this troubling phenomenon soon.

Learn more:

Click here for more information on the recent dolphin calf strandings.

See what YOU can do to help wildlife harmed by the Gulf oil disaster.

2 Responses to “Surge in Dolphin Deaths Raises Concern”

  1. Sabrina Yoo

    Dear defenders of wildlife,
    In my science class todays I saw a movie about dolphins in Japan. The documentary that Ric O’Barry was in, showed me that the dolphins in Sea World or any different places that have dolphins involved, are suffering. The Japanese kill 2,300 dolphins per year! 98% of the Japanese don’t know. Ric O’Barry was flippers trainer (movie flipper) and Flipper killed her self by not taking a breath. After that, Ric O’Barry tried to free all the dolphins that he could and was arrested many times, by saving them. It is really sad. When they get in Japan they try to get the dolphin on tape to show what the Japanese are doing, but the Japanese don’t let them video tape it. It is a really sad movie and I wanted to take action so I decided to ask you guys for help. PLEASE HELP THE DOLPHINS!!
    Sabrina Yoo
    P.S. The name of the movie is The Cove.

  2. Edison Dohler Rodas

    love this sight has so much information about endangered species and it alll wants to make me ant to help

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